Toll in Sri Lanka bombings rises to 359: police

Kumari Fernando, who lost her husband, Dulip Fernando, and two children, Dulakghi and Vimukthi, during the bombing at St Sebastian's Church, yells towards the graves during a mass burial for victims at a cemetery near the church in Negombo, three days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, in Sri Lanka April 24, 2019.
Kumari Fernando, who lost her husband, Dulip Fernando, and two children, Dulakghi and Vimukthi, during the bombing at St Sebastian's Church, yells towards the graves during a mass burial for victims at a cemetery near the church in Negombo, three days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, in Sri Lanka April 24, 2019.
Image: REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The toll in a series of suicide bomb blasts on Easter Sunday targeting hotels and churches in Sri Lanka has risen to 359, police said Wednesday.

The additional deaths were the result of the wounded dying of their injuries. At least 500 people were injured in the attacks.

The blasts have been claimed by the Islamic State group, with Sri Lanka's government pointing the finger at the little-known local Islamist group National Thowheeth Jama'ath, but saying the group likely had "international" help.

"Certainly the security apparatus is of the view that there are foreign links and some of the evidence points to that," Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told media on Tuesday night.

"We've been following up on this claim, there were suspicions that there were links with ISIS," he added, using another name for IS.

A set of coordinated bomb explosions on Easter Sunday in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka killed more than 300 people and injured 450. Officials say most of the explosives were set off by suicide bombers. Here is a timeline of how the bombings occurred.

Overnight, Sri Lankan police carried out fresh raids, detained 18 more people in their hunt for those involved in the attacks.

Nearly 60 people have been detained since the Sunday blasts, which ripped through high-end hotels and churches packed with Easter worshippers in the capital Colombo and beyond.

It is the worst violence in the country since the end of a Tamil insurgency a decade ago. 

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